Mark Mahoney, the editorial page editor for the Gazette, published an editorial today, Thursday 11/16, regarding the outcome of the recent Saratoga Springs charter vote. His editorial included harsh criticism of Commissioners Madigan, Scirocco, and Franck. Referring to the special City Council meeting where the three Commissioners voted to hire a lawyer to observe the counting of absentee ballots, he wrote:
“The three commissioners, knowing they had the votes to pass it, didn’t even invite the mayor and commissioner of public safety to the meeting. Didn’t even let them know it was happening. Didn’t show them the courtesy.”
Interestingly, after being contacted by Commissioner Franck, the on line version of the editorial was changed to the following:
“Mayor Joanne Yepsen said the three commissioners, knowing they had the votes to pass it, didn’t even invite the [sic] her and the commissioner of public safety to the meeting. The three commissioners dispute the mayor’s allegation and said she and the other commissioner were indeed aware of the meeting.”
“Regardless of who is telling the truth [JK: Emphasis added], this is the kind of political, self-serving garbage that 49.94 percent of the voters voted against. That’s why despite all the happy news coming out of the Spa City, they voted for change.”
I have thoroughly documented in a previous post [https://saratogaspringspolitics.com/2017/11/13/what-a-tangled-web-this-absentee-ballot-count-has-become/ ] the irrefutable fact that the Mayor was not only invited to the meeting but that in fact she was the one who sent out the notice to the Council. Her email is included in my blog post and Mr. Mahoney is in possession of a copy of that email.
Since when does a newspaper care so little about who is telling the truth when clear documentation exists in the form of an email issued over the Mayor’s name? Why would a newspaper print a serious accusation with so little concern about its accuracy? And who is guilty here of “political, self-serving, garbage”? Is it the Mayor or the three Commissioners?
Most centrally, how would changing the charter address the rampant disease of politicians who lie? This is in fact, though, the absurd promise repeated by the Charter Review Commission.
Having worked with Art Clayman, Mr. Mahoney’s predecessor who I admired greatly, this is just another example of the degradation of a critical institution, the newspaper.